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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Lyrical and rhythmic, Pepe Builds a Nest by Theodore Jerome Cohen is a priceless gem that young readers will devour with awesome delight. I read it with my six-year-old son and he was thrilled. It’s a beautiful story simply told, a story about a penguin named Pepe who builds his nest of rocks, but when he was ready to create the masterpiece for himself and Miss Amber, the bully Otto comes along and begins to steal his stones. Can Pepe stand up to him? How things turn out is the beauty of this story and readers will love the part played by others.
Although this book is written for kids, I enjoyed it, and it has lessons that grownups can apply to their own lives and thoughts they should ponder on, because grownups are the worst bullies. The poetry is so beautiful one gets the feeling they are listening to a beautiful song. Listen to the opening lines:
“Pepe the Penguin, a bright lad of one,
looked up to the sky and welcomed the sun.
The long night was over, no time to rest.
It was time to rejoice and build his first nest.”
And so the music goes on and on until Otto comes along and sets his ugly game into motion:
“Otto, the bully, watched Pepe with glee.
“I’ll steal his rocks, just you watch me!”
“His nest is so big, his pile is so high,
he won’t miss many, I’ll give it a try.”
Pepe Builds a Nest is rich with imagery and sound; the rhyme is perfect and it will allow young readers to build their vocabulary and learn to appreciate poetry as they get absorbed into the steady rhythm of the lyrical tale. The illustrations are well done, adding a new feel to an already beautiful story. I won’t hesitate to recommend this book as a perfect addition to kids’ libraries at home.